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Did sea-level gauges in New Zealand detect the 2010 Chile Tsunami?

Rob Bell's analysis of the tsunami signature.

A magnitude 8.8 earthquake occurred in Chile, at 18:34 New Zealand Standard Time (NZST) on 27 February 2010, at a depth of 35 km 115 km NNE of Concepcion.

The tsunami was recorded along all the east coast of New Zealand but also on most of the gauges on the west coast. The Scott Base gauge is in the Ross Sea (Antarctica).

All arrivals were on an upwards rising wave.

The following sea-level gauges were used for a post-event analysis using 1 minute data from 18:00 27 February to 06:06 02 March (NZST).


The exceptions are gauges at Tararu (Firth of Thames), Anawhata, and Scott Base (Ross Sea) where the records were at 5 minute intervals.

For the analysis, the peak upwards elevation of a wave above the concurrent tide level (amplitude) determined the peak wave and timing that was extracted, but where that wave was not the maximum total wave height (crest to trough), that value is given in parentheses.

R.G. Bell (NIWA, Hamilton, New Zealand)

Building destroyed in Concepción, Chile, in the 2010 tsunami 2010. [Claudio Núñez/Wikimedia Commons]